Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but Dead Space could have turned out to be a very different type of game if it weren’t for last-minute game-wide changes originating from protagonist Isaac Clarke’s speed of movement.
Speaking to BeefJack, former Visceral art man on the game, Ian Milham, said pre-launch focus testers found the character to be just too slow, and frustratingly so.
“Six months before Dead Space came out, we did some focus testing and found out the main character was just too slow,” he said. “We thought it would make the game more intense but people just were frustrated.”
This brought on a whole heap of changes that had to be made to the entire game. Milham explains: “Nearly every decision in the game is downstream of your character’s speed. The size of the rooms, how fast the enemies are, memory management, music… everything had to change if we were going to make him faster.”
I dare say the work was well worth it. Rarely does a game come along that feels just right.